Odd doings in the Traditional Anglican Communion

Archbishop John Hepworth of the Traditional Anglican Communion (affiliated with Catholics by the Ordinariate and definitely not a member of the Anglican Communion) has recently seen the settlement of charges he lowered that he was raped 40 years ago in a Catholic seminary by a priest.

An inquiry last month cleared the priest in question of any wrongdoing; Hepworth said the process was flawed, that no one was safe so long as Catholics kept moving their reoffending priests around like checkers.

“Considerable dissension” has consequently arisen in the leadership of TAC, and Hepworth announced a few days ago that he’ll step down as Archbishop as of next Pentecost. TAC’s House of Bishops voted for his immediate removal; Hepworth said it’s not binding, so for the moment it seems he’s simply being waited out.

But … supreme irony alert: In February of 2010, a TAC priest named Wilfred Dennis was found guilty of molesting at least one altar boy. This, after being reassigned due to the fact that he’d already molested three altar boys and served time for it. In the trial it came out that Dennis had admitted to Hepworth in 2002 that he’d molested as many as 41 boys. (The Café briefly covered the story, with story commenters linking to one faction’s accounting of the incident in question from the anti-Hepworth side, with much material cited from testimony.)

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